WASHINGTON, D.C. – With a new president comes a new look for the Oval Office.
The American people are getting their first peek at how President Joe Biden has chosen to decorate the prestigious office.
On Inauguration Day, reporters were given a tour of the office and noted several changes to the room that former President Donald Trump had occupied earlier in the day.
One of the main differences is the artwork that’s now being displayed. Biden has chosen to put out a number of busts and portraits of well-known American figures.
Behind the Resolute Desk, Biden has placed a bust of Cesar Chavez, a Latino American civil rights activist and labor leader. Surrounding the statue are photos of Biden’s family, as well as a picture of the pope with Catholic president. It’s also flanked by the American flag and a flag with the presidential seal. These replaced the military flags Trump had displayed there.
The other busts in the room are of Rosa Parks, Robert F. Kennedy, and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Kennedy and King and said to have had a major impact on Biden’s political views. Biden does not have a bust of Winston Churchill that Trump had in the room.
As for portraits, the largest displayed in the office is of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which hangs on the wall across from Biden’s desk. The Washington Post reports that it’s a clear nod to a leader who helped the country through significant crises, like those Biden now faces.
Biden has removed a portrait of former President Andrew Jackson that Trump had hung up. The painting, which was controversial due to actions by Jackson, has now been replaced by a portrait of Benjamin Franklin, which The Post says is meant to represent Biden’s interest in following science. A moon rock is also on display near it.
Also on display are portraits of former President Thomas Jefferson and former treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton. Biden’s office told reporters that those two pieces are situated next to each other to show differences in opinion are essential to democracy.
Other portraits in the room are of former presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as former Sen. Daniel Webster.
When it comes to the décor, the furniture came from the White House collection, so the couches and tables may look familiar. Biden has chosen to keep the gold drapes that were in Trump’s office, but he did replace the rug with a blue one that was used in former President Bill Clinton’s office.
On the Resolute Desk on Wednesday, Biden had two sets of objects – a cup and saucer set, and a box of pens to signs a group of executive orders on his first day. It seems Biden has removed a button on the desk that Trump reportedly used to summon staff to bring him Diet Cokes.